The Five Love Languages

Gary Chapman

The Five Love Languages

Falling In Love

  • “At its peak, the “in love” experience is euphoric. We are emotionally obsessed with each other… Unfortunately, the eternity of the “in love” experience is fiction, not fact. Dr. Dorothy Tennov… concluded that the average life span of a romantic obsession is two years” (29-30).

The Five Love Languages:

Words of Affirmation:

  • “Verbal compliments, or words of appreciation, are power communication of love. The are best expressed in simple, straightforward statements of affirmation…” (39).
  • Encouraging Words
  • Kind Words
  • Indirect Words (Expressing words of affirmation about the person when s/he isn’t present)

Quality Time:

  • “By ‘quality time,’ I mean giving someone your undivided attention” (55).
  • Togetherness
  • Quality Conversation
  • Learning to Talk
  • Quality Activities

Receiving Gifts:

  • ” A gift is something you can hold in your hand and say, ‘Look, s/he was thinking of me’… The gift itself is a symbol of that thought. It doesn’t matter whether it costs money” (74).
  • Gifts and Money
  • The Gift of Self (Physical presence in the time of crisis)

Acts of Service:

  • “By acts of service, I mean doing things you know your spouse would like you to do. You seek to please her by serving her, to express your love for by doing things for her” (88).

Physical Touch:

  • “Love touches may be explicit and demand your full attention such as in a back rub or sexual foreplay… On the other hand, love touches may be implicit and require only a moment, such as putting you hand on his shoulder… touching your spouse as you walk through the room where he is sitting…” (106-107).
  • The Body is for Touching
  • Crisis and Physical Touch

The Art of Listening (63-64):

  1. Maintain eye contact when your spouse is talking.
  2. Don’t listen to your spouse and do something else at the same time.
  3. Listen for feelings.
  4. Observe body language
  5. Refuse to interrupt.


Other Quotes:

“Our most basic emotional need is not to fall in love but to be genuinely loved by another, to know a love that grows out of reason and choice, not instinct” (35).

“The object of love is not getting something you want but doing something for the well-being of the one you love. It is a fact, however, that when we receive affirming words we are far more likely to be motivated to reciprocate” (41).

“A central aspect of quality time is togetherness. I do not mean proximity… Togetherness has to do with focused attention” (59).

“Many of us… are trained to analyze problems and create solutions. We forget that marriage is a relationship, not a project to be completed or a problem to solve” (62).

“Remember, emotions themselves are neither good nor bad. They are simply our psychological responses to the events of life” (66-67).

“One of the by-products of quality activities is that they provide a memory bank from which to draw in the years ahead” (70).

“Requests give direction to love, but demands stop the flow of love” (92).

“People tend to criticize their spouse most loudly in the area where they themselves have the deepest emotional need. Their criticism is an ineffective way of pleading for love” (97).

“Whatever there is of me resides in my body. To touch my body is to touch me. To withdraw from my body is to distance yourself from me emotionally” (107).

“…Love is something you do for someone else, not something you do for yourself” (136).

“If… their emotional needs are met, children develop into responsible adults. But if the emotional need is not met, they may violate acceptable standards, expressing anger toward parents who did not meet their needs, and seeking love in inappropriate places” (163).

“As [a] child gets older, we tend to condemn him for his failures rather than commend him for his success” (164).

“Giving a child your undivided attention says that you care, that he is important to you, that you enjoy being with him” (165).

“Many parents and grandparents speak the language of gifts excessively… Some parents believe that that is the best way to show their love… But unless that is the primary love language of the child, gifts may mean little emotionally to the child. The parent has good intentions, but s/he is not meeting the emotional needs of the child by giving gifts” (166).

“Observe your children. Watch how they express love to others. That is a clue to their love language. Take note of the things they request of you. Many times, their request will be in keeping with their own love language. Notice the things for which they are most appreciative. Those are likely indicators of their primary love language” (168).

“When family members start speaking each other’s primary love language, the emotional climate of a family is greatly enhanced” (170).